The 100 Most Iconic Fictional Characters

The 100 most iconic, well-known, and generally beloved fictional characters of film, television, literature, and pop culture since the turn of the 20th Century.

  1. Superman (first appearance: 1938)  Created by Jerry Siegal and Joe Shuster for Action Comics #1 (DC Comics).
  2. Mickey Mouse (1928)  Created by Walt Disney and Ub Iworks for Steamboat Willie.
  3. James Bond (1953)  Created by Ian Fleming for novel Casino Royale.
  4. Bugs Bunny (1940)  Created by Warner Bros and originally voiced by Mel Blanc.
  5. Batman (1939) Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane for Detective Comics #27 (DC Comics).
  6. Dorothy Gale (1900)  Created by L. Frank Baum for novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Later portrayed by Judy Garland in the 1939 film adaptation.
  7. Darth Vader (1977) Created by George Lucas for Star Wars IV: A New Hope.
  8. The Tramp (1914)  Created and portrayed by Charlie Chaplin for Kid Auto Races at Venice.
  9. Peter Pan (1902)  Created by J.M. Barrie for novel The Little White Bird.
  10. Indiana Jones (1981)  Created by George Lucas for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Portrayed by Harrison Ford.
  11. Rocky Balboa (1976)  Created and portrayed by Sylvester Stallone for Rocky.
  12. Vito Corleone (1969) Created by Mario Puzo for novel The Godfather. Later portrayed by Marlon Brando and Robert DeNiro in Coppola’s film adaptation.
  13. Han Solo (1977) Created by George Lucas for Star Wars IV: A New Hope. Portrayed most famously by Harrison Ford.
  14. Homer Simpson (1987)  Created by Matt Groening for The Tracey Ullman Show, later The Simpsons as voiced by Dan Castellaneta.
  15. Lucy Ricardo (1951) Portrayed by Lucille Ball for I Love Lucy.
  16. Archie Bunker (1971) Created by Norman Lear for All in the Family. Portrayed by Carroll O’Connor.
  17. King Kong (1933)  Created by Edgar Wallace and Merian C Cooper for the film King Kong.
  18. Spiderman (1962)  Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko for Amazing Fantasy #15 (Marvel Comics).
  19. Barbie (1959)  Created by Ruth Handler for the toy company Mattel.
  20. Spock (1964)  Created by Gene Roddenberry for Star Trek. Portrayed most famously by Leonard Nimoy.
  21. Godzilla (1954) Created by Tomoyuki Tanaka, Ishiro Honda, and Eiji Tsubaraya for the film Godzilla.
  22. The Joker (1940)  Created by Jerry Robinson, Bill Finger, and Bob Kane for Batman #1 (DC Comics)
  23. Scarlett O’Hara (1936)  Created by Margaret Mitchell for the novel Gone With the Wind. Portrayed most famously by Vivien Leigh for the 1939 Victor Fleming film adaptation.
  24. Winnie-the-Pooh (1924)  Created by A.A. Milne for verse book When We Were Young.
  25. Popeye (1929)  Created by E.C. Segar for comic strip Thimble Theater (King Features).
  26. Tarzan (1912) Created by Edgar Rice Burroughs for the novel Tarzan of the Apes.
  27. Forrest Gump (1986)  Created by Winston Groom for novel Forrest Gump.  Later portrayed by Tom Hanks in Zemeckis’ film adaptation.
  28. Hannibal Lector (1981)  Created by Thomas Harris for the novel Red Dragon. Portrayed most famously by Anthony Hopkins in the 1991 Jonathan Demme film The Silence of the Lambs.
  29. Big Bird (1969) Created by Jim Henson and portrayed by Carroll Spinney for Sesame Street.
  30. Holden Caulfield (1945) Created by J.D. Salinger for the Collier’s story “I’m Crazy.”  Reworked into the novel The Catcher in the Rye in 1951.
  31. Tony Montana (1983)  Created by Oliver Stone for film Scarface.  Portrayed by Al Pacino.
  32. Tony Soprano (1999)  Created by David Chase for The Sopranos. Portrayed by James Gandolfini.
  33. The Terminator (1984)  Created by James Cameron and Gale Anne Hurd for The Terminator. Portrayed by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
  34. Jon Snow (1996)  Created by George RR Martin for the novel The Game of Thrones.  Portrayed by Kit Harrington.
  35. Norman Bates (1959) Created by Robert Bloch for novel Psycho.  Later portrayed by Anthony Perkins in Hitchcock’s film adaptation.
  36. Charles Foster Kane (1941)  Created and portrayed by Orson Welles for Citizen Kane.
  37. Marty McFly (1985) Created by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale for Back to the Future. Portrayed by Michael J. Fox.
  38. Rick Blaine (1940)  Created by Murray Burnett and Joan Alison for the unproduced stage play Everybody Comes to Rick’s. Later portrayed by Humphrey Bogart in Michael Curtiz’s film adaptation Casablanca.
  39. Man With No Name (1964)  Created by Sergio Leone for A Fistful of Dollars, which was adapted from a ronin character in Kurosawa’s Yojimbo (1961).  Portrayed by Clint Eastwood.
  40. Charlie Brown (1948)  Created by Charles M. Shultz for the comic strip L’il Folks; popularized two years later in Peanuts.
  41. E.T. (1982)  Created by Melissa Mathison for the film E.T.: the Extra-Terrestrial.
  42. Arthur Fonzarelli (1974)  Created by Bob Brunner for the show Happy Days. Portrayed by Henry Winkler.
  43. Phillip Marlowe (1939)  Created by Raymond Chandler for the novel The Big Sleep.
  44. Jay Gatsby (1925)  Created by F. Scott Fitzgerald for the novel The Great Gatsby.
  45. Lassie (1938) Created by Eric Knight for a Saturday Evening Post story, later turned into the novel Lassie Come-Home in 1940, film adaptation in 1943, and long-running television show in 1954.  Most famously portrayed by the dog Pal.
  46. Fred Flintstone (1959)  Created by William Hanna and Joseph Barbera for The Flintstones. Voiced most notably by Alan Reed.
  47. Rooster Cogburn (1968)  Created by Charles Portis for the novel True Grit. Most famously portrayed by John Wayne in the 196
    9 film adaptation.
  48. Atticus Finch (1960)  Created by Harper Lee for the novel To Kill a Mockingbird.  (Appeared in the earlier work Go Set A Watchman, though this was not published until 2015)  Portrayed most famously by Gregory Peck in the Robert Mulligan film adaptation.
  49. Kermit the Frog (1955)  Created and performed by Jim Henson for the show Sam and Friends. Later popularized in Sesame Street (1969) and The Muppet Show (1976)
  50. George Bailey (1943)  Created by Phillip Van Doren Stern (then as George Pratt) for the short story The Greatest Gift. Later adapted into Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life, starring James Stewart as the renamed George Bailey.
  51. Yoda (1980) Created by George Lucas for The Empire Strikes Back.
  52. Zorro (1919)  Created by Johnston McCulley for the All-Story Weekly pulp magazine story The Curse of Capistrano.Later adapted to the Douglas Fairbanks’ film The Mark of Zorro (1920).
  53. Moe, Larry, and Curly (1928)  Created by Ted Healy for the vaudeville act Ted Healy and his Stooges.
  54. Mary Poppins (1934)  Created by P.L. Travers for the children’s book Mary Poppins.
  55. Mario (1981)  Created by Shigeru Miyamoto for the video game Donkey Kong.
  56. Harry Potter (1997)  Created by J.K. Rowling for the novel Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.
  57. Holly Golightly (1958)  Created by Truman Capote for the novella Breakfast at Tiffany’s.  Later adapted into the 1961 Blake Edwards films starring Audrey Hepburn as Holly.
  58. Gandalf (1937)  Created by J.R.R. Tolkien for the novel The Hobbit.
  59. The Grinch (1957)  Created by Dr. Seuss for the story How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
  60. Willy Wonka (1964)  Created by Roald Dahl for the children’s novel Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.
  61. The Hulk (1962)  Created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby for The Incredible Hulk #1 (Marvel Comics)
  62. Scooby-Doo (1969)  Created by Joe Ruby and Ken Spears for the show Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!
  63. Sam Malone (1982)  Created by Glen and Les Charles for the show Cheers.  Portrayed by Ted Danson.
  64. George Costanza (1989)  Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld for the show Seinfeld.  Portrayed by Jason Alexander.
  65. Jules Winfield (1994)  Created by Quentin Tarantino for the film Pulp Fiction. Portrayed by Samuel L. Jackson.
  66. John McClane (1988)  Based on the character Detective Joe Leland, who was created by Roderick Thorp for the novel Nothing Lasts Forever. Later adapted into the John McTernan film Die Hard, starring Bruce Willis as McClane.
  67. Ellen Ripley (1979)  Created by Don O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett for the film Alien.  Portrayed by Sigourney Weaver.
  68. Ralph Kramden (1951)  Created and portrayed by Jackie Gleason for “The Honeymooners,” which became its own show in 1955.
  69. Edward Scissorhands (1990)  Created by Tim Burton for the film Edward Scissorhands.  Portrayed by Johnny Depp.
  70. Eric Cartman (1992)  Created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone for the animated short Jesus vs Frosty.  Later developed into the show South Park, which premiered in 1997.  Voiced by Trey Parker.
  71. Walter White (2008)  Created by Vince Gilligan for Breaking Bad.  Portrayed by Bryan Cranston.
  72. Cosmo Kramer (1989)  Created by Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld for Seinfeld.  Portrayed by Michael Richards.
  73. Pikachu (1996)  Created by Atsuko Nishida and Ken Sugimori for the Pokemon video game and anime franchise.
  74. Michael Scott (2005)  Based on a character from the British series The Office, created by Ricky Gervais and Steven Merchant.  Portrayed by Steve Carell.
  75. Freddy Krueger (1984)  Created by Wes Craven for the film A Nightmare on Elm Street. Most famously portrayed by Robert Englund.
  76. Captain America (1941)  Created by Joe Simon and Jack Kirby for Captain America Comics #1 (Marvel Comics)
  77. Goku (1984)  Created by Akira Toriyama for the manga series Dragon Ball Z.
  78. Bambi (1923)  Created by Felix Salten for the children’s book Bambi, a Life in the Woods. Later adapted into the Disney film Bambi in 1942.
  79. Ronald McDonald (1963) Created by Williard Scott for a series of television spots.
  80. Waldo/Wally (1987) Created by Martin Hanford for the children’s book Where’s Wally? (Waldo in US edition)
  81. Buffy Summers (1992)  Created by Joss Whedon for the film Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  Portrayed by Kristy Swanson and Sarah Michelle Geller.
  82. Frasier Crane (1984)  Created by Glen and Les Charles for Cheers.  Portrayed by Kelsey Grammar.
  83. Omar Little (2002)  Created by David Simon for The Wire.  Portrayed by Michael K. Williams.
  84. Wolverine (1974)  Created by Roy Thomas, Len Wein, and John Romita Sr for The Incredible Hulk #180(Marvel Comics)
  85. Ron Burgundy (2004)  Created by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay for the film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.  Portrayed by Will Ferrell.
  86. Jason Voorhees (1980)  Created by Victor Miller for the film Friday the 13th.
  87. Betty Boop (1930)  Created by Max Fleischer and the Grim Network for the cartoon Dizzy Dishes.
  88. The Dude (1998)  Created by Ethan and Joel Coen for the film The Big Lebowski. Portrayed by Jeff Bridges.
  89. Bilbo Baggins (1937)  Created by J.R.R. Tolkien for the novel The Hobbit.
  90. Tom Joad (1939)  Created by John Steinbeck for the novel The Grapes of Wrath. Later adapted into the 1940 John Ford film and portrayed by Henry Fonda.
  91. Tony Stark (Iron Man) (1963)  Created by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Don Heck and Jack Kirby for Tales of Suspense #39 (Marvel Comics)
  92. Katniss Everdeen (2008)  Created by Suzanne Collins for the novel The Hunger Games.  Later portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence in film franchise.
  93. Porky Pig (1935)  Created by Friz Freleng for the animated short film I Haven’t Got a Hat. Voiced most famously by Mel Blanc.
  94. Travis Bickle (1976)  Created by Paul Schrader for the film Taxi Driver. Portrayed by Robert De Niro.
  95. Hawkeye Pierce (1968)  Created by Richard Hooker for the novel MASH: A Novel About Three Army Doctors.  Famously portrayed by both Alan Alda and Donald Sutherland.
  96. Don Draper (2007)  Created by Matthew Weiner for the show Mad Men.  Portrayed by Jon Hamm.
  97. Cliff Huxtable (1984)  Created and portrayed by Bill Cosby for The Cosby Show.
  98. Shrek (1990)  Created by William Steig for the children’s book Shrek! Later adapted into the 2001 film starring Mike Myers as the titular character.
  99. Optimus Prime (1984)  Created by Dennis O’Neil for the Transformers toy line.
  100. Sonic the Hedgehog (1991)  Created by Naoto Ohshima and Yuji Uekawa for the Sega Genesis game of the same name.

Bubble: Michael Myers, Hercule Poirot, Bluey, Princess Elsa, Maverick, Predator, Tyrion Lannister, Wonder Woman, Ron Swanson, J.R. Ewing, Tyler Durden, Spongebob Squarepants, Daenerys Targaryen, Jack Torrance, Harry Callahan, The Genie from Aladdin, Pac-Man, Axel Foley, Dora the Explorer, Terry Malloy

Pre-20th Century: Santa Claus, Dracula, Robin Hood, Cinderella, Huckleberry Finn, Odysseus, Sherlock Holmes, Romeo and Juliet, Frankenstein, Prince Hamlet, Uncle Sam, Paul Bunyan, Tom Sawyer, Pinocchio, Oliver Twist, Snow White, Don Quixote, Alice in Wonderland, Rip Van Winkle, Ebenezer Scrooge, Anna Karenina, Ichabod Crane, John Henry, The Tooth Fairy, Br’er Rabbit, Long John Silver, The Mad Hatter, Quasimodo


  1. I would’ve definitely added Sonic the Hedgehog, The Cat in the Hat (Dr. Seuss), The Doctor (Doctor Who) and Twilight Sparkle (My Little Pony) to the list.

    • This is fictional character list
      Jesus is a historical person (according to a billion plus people)

      • felt the need to answer this.. lol
        There is no discussion about the existence of Jesus in real life. There are only discussions about the story of what he did and who he claimed to be.
        No touchy here, just facts.. (:

        • Saying Jesus was fictional is ahistorical. Jesus was a real person, this much is not debatable. What’s debatable is what he represents.

          • @ur stepdad
            You ignored what this person said. Jesus WAS a real man. Whether he was anything but a man is what’s debatable. That’s like saying Tom Cruise is fictional because Scientology is a load of shit and he’s their prophet.

        • (even though i dont believe in jesus) everybody has their own rights, and beleifs so if people think jesus is real, or if people think he is fictional, the best thing people can do is just BE RESPECTFUL, and polite, and let others believe what they want to 🙂 – just a positive message for the day 🙂

  2. The pre-20th century ones should have included Don Quixote, Quasimodo and Robin Hood. And where was Tarzan? Or Hercule Poirot? Far more people would recognise Poirot worldwide than Don Draper.

      • Other Pre-20th Century characters should include Heracles (Hercules), Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, King Arthur and Merlin.

  3. Optimus Prime is the personification of a true hero, no one else will ever be greater than him. This is the hero mankind needs. Knight, Leader, Hero, Survivor, Protector, Father, Savior and so much more.

  4. I think that Pac-Man and Sonic the Hedgehog should’ve been added as well. They’re just as iconic as Mario and Pikachu when it comes to video game characters.

  5. Ummm Chucky The mass murdering doll. He is a horror and cultural icon around the world. He deserves to be on the list

  6. Princess Leia? Hermione Granger? Eowyn? Dora the Explorer? Daenerys Targaryen? Wonder Woman? Rey? (Elizabeth Bennet, Beatrice, Jane Eyre, pre-20th century)

  7. This list lost credibility for me as soon as I saw Kermit the Frog and many others listed over Goku. It’s also heavily skewed towards American culture. I bet a lot of people in other countries wouldn’t even know who or what Lassie is for example.

  8. Its ridiculous to list Jon Snow and then the Lannisters but not to list Daenarys Targaryan, she is easily the most iconic character from the show.

  9. This is sexist, hardly any women. Alice in Wonderland, Lara Croft, girl With dragon tattoo, mystique X men, Xenia worrier princess, lady Mac, wicked witch of west, Matilda, witch from narnia,

    • I don’t think the list is sexist, while I agree with a couple of those picks, the sad reality is that there are more male icons than female icons in fiction. I think it’s messed up, but right now that’s just how it is.

      • “that’s just how it is,” is an excuse for the continuation of messed up patterns. It’s a sexist list, ask any woman and she’ll list tons of female icons. You probably just haven’t watched those particular movies because they don’t interest you, which makes sense, but is still not an excuse. This list was probably written by a man who wanted to list all his favorite male icons, which is fine for him to do, but we can’t act like this is a non-biased list, because it is. “Best male characters” would be an acceptable title. Pretending like this is inclusive of all beloved characters is literally unacceptable.

        • That is so true. Also, like another poster said, where’s Sherlock Holmes? Easily more iconic than the majority of the entries on the list. Also, for a list purporting to list “the most iconic” characters, without qualification as to culture or language, it misses famous non-English-language characters such as the Moomintroll, a beloved comic strip and childrens’ book (but not just for children) character by the Finnish author and artist Tove Jansson. (I’m Finnish, so I immediately searched for Moomintroll.)

      • The ‘sad reality’ is that Alice in wonderland and Matilda are more famous than Tony Soprano. Stop being sexist and deal with FACTS

    • Omg so glad I’m not the only one that thought this!!! I mean, i suppose I can agree with Nicolas, but there are so many great ones!! Some of my personal favs are Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter), Annabeth Chase (Percy Jackson & The Olympians/The Heroes of Olympus), Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games), Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor and the Trials of Morrigan Crow), & Hazel Levesque (Also Heroes of Olympus). What are your faves

    • can you stop saying everything is sexist, in a lot of movies their are more men characters then women, this may not be the case in every movie and i do see where you’re going but if you think about it, some of, if not all of the most known characters you can name off the top of your head without thinking about it are probably men, and im a girl. nowadays they’re adding more female characters but they are still less known not everything is sexist and they were just naming characters people are familiar with. dont hate the player, hate the game

  10. Kindly, where the fuck are women? There are so many iconic female roles that were entirely ignored.

  11. I think that the people who made this list worked hard and I think that they more than likely did not try to leave out characters. Thanks to all the people who are saying good things people need to be more respectful

  12. What happened to Yossarian – the only sane character in Catch22?

    Lost, lonely, paranoid and desperate to survive world war 2, he is the everyman of fiction (and non-fiction in some cases). Forget Cathcart, Milo Minderbinder and Nately (and Natelys whores kid sister) as good as they are. Yorssian is anyone of us who sees the absurdity of today’s modern world (think Political Correctness – got the idea?).

    I vote for Yossarian

  13. To all the people pissing in moaning about this list and the lack of whatever sex or character they wish to see, why don’t you go and make your own damn list. How easy it is to crap all over somebody from the safety of your arm chair while being a lazy dick

    • lmao i agree 100% its not personal against anyone, you can make ur own list if u want, stop hating, and also not everyone knows the characters they were listing. if u dont like the list THEN DONT LOOK AT IT. fr these ppl are on something and im glad someone has a brain

  14. SpongeBob and sonic are both here? Sonic is the 100th one and SpongeBob is in the bubble part at ther end

  15. Captain Jack Sparrow…………??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????

  16. You guys had Bill Cosby on the list. Boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

  17. I know Scrooge is on the pre 20th century list but seems a bit silly to not have a list of iconic characters and to not have the most iconic character of all time featured. Needs another list of ‘most iconic fictional characters of all time’

  18. This list is stupid and that’s not even considering the entirely American focus.

    You’re really telling me that Don Draper is more iconic than Spongebob or that George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life is more iconic than Mario? Did a 70 year old make this?

  19. Mario at 55… ONLY 55!?!?
    JASON. VORHEES. IS. ONLY. 87!?!?

  20. CTRL+F (your computer’s search/Find option) can answer your question whether or not a character has made the list.

  21. The immortal characters of Douglas Adams: Arthur Dent, Ford Prefect, and Marvin the paranoid android.

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